March 7, 2012

Small Business Review Panel Discusses CFPB's Draft Settlement Forms

Four title industry members, including TLTA member Celia Flowers of East Texas Title Companies, participated yesterday in a Small Business Review Panel in Washington, D.C. The panel was held by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as part of its initiative to integrate the RESPA/TILA mortgage disclosure and settlement forms. Panel participants were asked to tell the CFPB how these new forms will impact closings, overall business operations and cost structure.

The discussion focused on the latest draft forms Tupelo and Basswood, and this 41-page overview of the regulatory proposal as well as a list of questions dealing with the effect of these proposals on small businesses. TLTA conducted a survey to members seeking feedback on these issues, and the responses were provided to Celia prior to the meeting. We received more than 100 survey responses and we would like to thank those of you who took the time to respond and help with this important process. We will report in greater detail about the survey responses in a future newsletter, and we will keep you updated on any developments during this process as they happen.

TLTA's P-53 Task Force Will Meet to Discuss Improvements

In light of the discussion of P-53 at the Texas Department of Insurance Rule Hearing last week, the P-53 Task Force appointed by TLTA President Phyllis Mulder last fall will meet in the near future to discuss ways to improve the rule and statute to provide clarity for both the industry and the department. Additionally, TLTA will be coordinating with TDI staff as well as OPIC to work on this issue of great importance. We will keep you posted on any developments.

TREC to Review HOA Addendum at May 7 Meeting

Last week, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) approved for public comment a proposed HOA Addendum to the TREC One-to-Four Family Residential Contract. There will now be a 30-day comment period and the Commission will take up the action to possibly adopt the form at its May 7, 2012 meeting. The proposed HOA Addendum addresses the common failure to reimburse title agents ordering subdivision information in transactions that do not close. TLTA supportedlanguage included in the Addendum which states that the title agent is only authorized to order a Resale Certificate on behalf of a party after they have received the payment for the certificate. The language further provides for the parties to identify who should pay for a Resale Certificate and any necessary Resale Certificate updates. 

Ohio Court Rules County Must Provide Public Records at Actual Cost

American Land Title Association
The Supreme Court of Ohio on Feb. 29 granted a writ of mandamus ordering the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer to provide electronic copies of real estate title documents that have been recorded and scanned into the county's computers to persons requesting such copies at the actual cost of copying the digital images of the requested documents onto a compact disc. Read More >

Robosigning Focuses Attention on Title Companies

Carolyn Said | San Francisco Chronicle
Chain of title - proof of who really owns a house - underpins the entire U.S. system of real estate. Broken chain of title due to slipshod paperwork was a serious issue uncovered in the nationwide robosigning scandal and again last month in a city report that found San Francisco foreclosure paperwork riddled with errors. Those revelations draw new attention to title companies, which insure a home's clear title for both buyers and lenders. Read More >